Art and Soul Appoints Wes Morton Executive Chef


Art and Soul
Art and Soul’s Shrimp and Grits.




Washington, DC (June 6, 2011) Art and Soul is pleased to announce the appointment of Wes Morton, Executive Chef, effective March 1st, 2011. Morton, 32, will oversee the restaurant and its private dining rooms, host of many of the District’s most talked-about events for groups of 10 to 500 guests. “We’re happy to welcome Wes to the Art and Soul family. As chefs we share a Southern fare heritage and the know-how learned at the table and passed down from many generations of family,” said chef/owner Art Smith. “Wes will continue my passion of bringing southern soul to DC and Capitol Hill.”

Wes Morton Art and Soul
Wes Morton at a recent welcome reception.

“I really enjoy taking the discipline and techniques acquired in my classical training and applying that to approachable, no-fuss food with clean flavors and memorable plating,” says Morton. “I intend to bring this approach to Art and Soul, hopefully elevating the ‘soul’ while maintaining the integrity of Chef Art’s vision.”

A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, and with positions at Citronelle, CityZen, and The French Laundry early in his career, Morton honed the techniques that would ultimately guide him to top toque at Art and Soul. Most recently, Morton was executive chef at Againn where he received numerous accolades including Washingtonian Magazine’s 2010 “Rising Star” for his modern interpretations utilizing locally sourced ingredients.

That loyalty to local farmers as well as co-ops like Fresh Link in the Shenandoah Valley will continue to play a large role for Morton at Art and Soul, where his menus will be seasonally-driven and inspired. His embrace of farm-to-table ingredients started in childhood when his father took him hunting and fishing – not for sport – but for the family’s nightly dinner. A native of Lafayette, Louisiana, Morton’s passion for cooking began in the most traditional of ways – during large family gatherings over weekly Sunday lunch, prepared at the hands of his grandmother.

Mary Beth Albright
Chef Art Smith with Mary Beth Albright at Wes Morton’s welcome reception.

Prior to Againn, Morton was executive chef at Houston’s Alden Hotel. Under his leadership, the Alden received numerous outstanding reviews including four out of five stars from the Houston Chronicle, and a coveted spot on Esquire magazine’s Best New Restaurants in America list for its restaurant *17.

Art and Soul, located in the heart of Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, offers guests a chic setting in which to meet and connect, while enjoying “food for the soul” – food made with love and special attention. With celebrated two-time James Beard-Award winning Chef Art Smith as chef/owner and Wes Morton as Executive Chef, this 221-seat dining destination serves modern, regional cuisine with southern accents.

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